The Literature Gabfest calls on all writers, readers and lovers of the written word to gather and celebrate Uganda and East Africa’s literary talents. The literature festival aims to bring together a community of booklovers, writers, artists, thinkers, literary critics, and poets to fortify a reading community and inspire a reading culture in Uganda. The event will stimulate conversations about literature and enable the writing and telling of stories that are rooted in the longstanding literary traditions of Uganda. Recognizing that young children and the youth are the foundation for a strong reading culture in any society, the festival caters to young readers by offering reading sessions and collaborative story-writing sessions.

The Literature Gabfest will be an excellent opportunity to meet new and established authors, budding writers and poets in the country and in the region. This is an opportunity for all those who value the health of Uganda’s literary ecosystem to come together, engage and celebrate the literary traditions of Uganda and East Africa.

The Literature Gabfest will take place at Studios on Seventh. The festival space will have special areas demarcated for communal gathering, collaborative writing and reading. The following is a list of key features that will be presented during the festival.


What to expect at the Literature gabfest

September 9: Program for mature audiences 

September 10: Program for young readers

Furaha means joy and celebration in Swahili. The Literature Gabfest will commence in joy and end in a celebration. As we go through the events of the day, we carry the spirit of Furaha in our hearts. 

Akiro’nyo is a Teso greeting that means “What words?” This is where words are celebrated—in their spoken and written forms, through poetry, dramatized enactments, and collaborative storytelling. Akiro’nyo sums up the experience of our conversations during the event. 

Emútík means stories in Ik. The element of emútík captures storytelling and reading sessions with mature audiences as well as with young readers. The festival area will have plenty of books for visitors to browse through, a lounge space to read, a book shelf with recommended reads from Book Enthusiasts of Kampala, and book sales through partnering book-sellers.

Kuwandika is to write in Luganda. The festival offers a chance to engage in collaborative writing projects. Children's collaborative writing will take place through moderated sessions whereby children will engage in the creative process of drafting a story—the plot, timeline, characters, and settings. These stories will be captured by our volunteers and shared on our blog here. Adults will have a chance to contribute to our story-book where they can pen their contribution to an ongoing story drafted in the book.

Ishaazi in Runyankole is the act of storytelling and eating around a communal fire. A thinking mind needs nutrition and stimulation. This space of Ishaazi is for togetherness, communal feast, storytelling, and conversations. Now is the time to turn to the person next to you and say, Akiro’nyo!


Entrance fees

A book.

Free entrance for those who come to the venue with a book, but in case you do not have a book, you can purchase one from the venue. The reason—towards the end of the festival we will ask guests to exchange books. This is keeping in line with the tradition of the Book Enthusiasts of Kampala, where we meet every month to exchange books. The festival will be an extension of our monthly activity, and this activity will ensure that every person who attends the festival will return home with not only a zeal to read, but also with a book to begin or resume reading.  


About our Logo

Gabfest logo_final.jpg

The logo captures the flight of the majestic Ugandan crane with an open book on its head. The open book is symbolic of the knowledge, stories and experiences that every person carries within and brings to the festival. The image also captures the action of literary arts taking flight in Uganda. The Literature Gabfest brings together a community of booklovers, thinkers, writers and readers who form the wind beneath the wings of the crane taking flight. The crane represents the roots of the festival—Uganda. The crescent of the wings and the shades of blue all indicate a new dawn and a new moon rising in Ugandan literature. As we open the first edition of this literature festival, we dream that Ugandan literature takes flight and is carried forth into the world.


We are looking for sponsors!

We are looking for partners and sponsors. To collaborate with Literature Gabfest write to us at info@bookenthusiasts.org


Quote of the day

"The writer and the reader are locked in an intimate relationship. Literature is about writing, but equally about reading. Free expression means being able to speak out. But it equally means being allowed to listen."

John Ralston Saul, PEN International President Emeritus